The Ethics and Aesthetics of Narration in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Dhee Sankar

PhD Junior Research Fellow, Presidency University, Department of English. Email: dheesankar@gmail.com

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

Milan Kundera had defined the novel as a genre as “the great prose form in which the author thoroughly explores, by means of experimental selves (characters), some great themes of existence,” thus taking an apparently solipsistic view of authorship, in which characters are “experimental selves” of the author. The present paper deliberates upon how this can be reconciled with Kundera’s departure from classical realism in his The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and argues that the novel’s insistence on the ineffable phenomenological otherness and contingency inherent in human experience amounts to an ethical as well as aesthetic stance against totalizing discourses, politically the foremost among them being Russia’s Stalinist communism, Kundera’s native country Czechoslovakia had suffered for decades under whose imperialist yolk. By coalescing the heterological and heterodox Bakhtinian function of critique through comic subversion with this diaphanous quality of ineffability, Kundera attains a feat unparalleled in the history of the novel. His achievement perhaps provides a direction towards what Habermas would call a “reflective understanding” of human as well as non-human (animal) experience.

Keywords: Kundera, novel, ethics, aesthetics, heterology, kitsch, Habermas, justice.

Seeking Salvation, Exploring Evil and Salvaging Doctor Faustus

Virender Pal

Assistant Professor of English, University College, Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra. Email: p2vicky@gmail.com

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

Doctor Faustus is probably the best known play of Christopher Marlowe. The play has been used in the classrooms around the world to discuss the main features of Renaissance and Doctor Faustus as a representative of Renaissance era. He has been shown as a man who sells his soul to Devil for gaining knowledge. Other interpretations of the play have been coloured by biography of Christopher Marlowe who was believed to be an atheist in his life time. The author’s biography has overpowered the interpretations so much that Doctor Faustus has been treated as representation of the author himself. This has removed the focus from Doctor Faustus the character and the play. The current paper is an attempt to read Doctor Faustus objectively.

Keywords: Faustus, evil, atheist, Catholic, biography.

 

Nature in the Eyes of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay: A Study of The Mountain of the Moon

Basabi Pal1 & Pamoli Nandy2

1 Rabindra Mahavidyalaya, Champadanga, Hooghly. Email: basabipal2011@gmail.com

2 Bankura University, Bankura

    Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

 Abstract                                                                                                                                                            

Being a social animal, human being has a close relationship with nature. Recently the green look of nature is faded away day by day and we now feel the need of environmental advocacy. This paper attempts to show how nature is treated in Bibhutibhushan’s The Mountain of the Moon (Chander Pahar ,1937), a fiction that is  based on a daring adventure of young Bengali man, Shankar Roy Choudhury. Bibhutibhushan’s search for the varied forms of nature- the wild, the spiritual and the beautiful- shows his interest in his study of nature with perfect accuracy and minute details. The present paper is a study to look back at Bibhutibhushan’s tribute to nature in his seminal text The Mountain of the Moon.

 Keywords- Nature, Environment, Wild, Beautiful, Spiritual.

Myth, Mystery and Animism: A Reading of the Animal Presence in Select Short Stories in English from North-East India

Pallabee Dasgupta

Research Scholar, Department of English, Banaras Hindu University. Email: paldg2009@gmail.com

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

The North-Eastern part of India has always been regarded as unique and mysterious not only because of its geographical and cultural insulation but also because of its primitive way of life existing somewhere between myth and reality. Thus, literature from the north-east India emphasizes on the lifestyle of the tribal people, inseparable from the nature around them as opposed to the Western dualistic structure which makes a clear distinction between nature and culture. In this, the narratives become useful not only for exploring the representation of nature in it, but also for the representation of animals, sometimes biological and often symbolic and conceptual. In this, the stories also embrace  concepts like totemism and animality opening themselves up to larger significant readings. The present paper reads  the animal presence in two short-stories from the north-east of India, Temsula Ao’s “Death of a Hunter” published in her anthology Laburnum for My Head (2009) and Mamang Dai’s “the boy who fell from the sky” published in her The Legends of Pensam (2009). Both the stories can be analyzed for the way nature and animals in particular are conceived in tribal life and imagination, often as larger than life presences and yet both  familiar and intimate.

Keywords: Tribal, Oral Tradition, Myths, Animality, Temsula Ao, Mamang Dai.

Book Review of Panorama: A Collection of Short Stories by Shilpi Chaklanobis

Title:                     Panorama: A Collection of Short Stories

Genre:                  Short Stories

Author: Shilpi Chaklanobis

Publisher:             Notionpress, Chennai

Year of

Publication:         2016

Pages:                   134

Price:                    150 Rupees.

ISBN:                     978-93-5206-966-8

Reviewed by

Dr. Sapna Dogra

Email: sapnardm@gmail.com

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Panorama is an enthralling collection of short stories that primarily revolves around relationships in a modern-day metropolis. In fifteen stories Shilpi displays plethora of familiar urban character: domestic help, college professor, working mother, passengers travelling in a train, to name a few, and situates them in interesting positions that involves dilemmas, loss, regret, repentance, acceptance and grief. This is Shilpi’s maiden venture into creative writing.

According to Edgar Allan Poe, one of the Hallmarks of a good story is its coherence to hold the readers interest from beginning to end. This is applicable to the present book as well. There was not a moment of tediousness and each narrative unravelled with a grace and interest. Shilpi’s efforts to breathe life into her characters are indeed commendable. All her stories are closely related to life and human experience.

The book opens with a story “Wok” that will immediately remind the readers of Premchand’s story “Idgah” where the four-year-old orphan named Hamid gifts tongs to his grandmother because she burnt her fingers daily while cooking. The parallels between the story are hard to miss: the absent father, the child full of hope and aspiration, impoverished life, resistance to temptation and filial gratitude. But Shilpi’s story has a much poignant and tragic ending as the readers discovers the “wok” gifted to the mother by her daughter was not the cause of the mother’s inability to provide her with wholesome meals each day. The curse of poverty breaks a mother’s heart, “When Rani fell asleep, Vimla, with a heavy heart, took the wok and locked it in the almirah where another wok was lying quietly. She looked at the twin woks mocking her, with a stream of tears flowing down her cheeks. Now she would have to invent another valid excuse for Rani to explain why she couldn’t prepare potato curry for her.” It’s a terrific ending.

Not all stories follow a strict narrative pattern. Shipli experiments with form and content as well. In “Mirage” she deploys the tool of dairy writing to unravel the inner workings of the protagonist’s mind. The story “Peanut” is unique in the sense that it appears to be a page out of an autobiography. With less plot and lots of narration it’s a moving account of a loss of a pet dog and memories of the past. The readers also find themselves confronted with a beautiful Bangla song whose translation is readily provided for those not familiar with the language. The readers will eagerly agree with the author as she says,

But everything in life comes with a price tag. The cut-throat competition to reach the top and ever-increasing work pressure to meet the tight deadlines can sometimes drain you. . .When you are constantly surrounded by a million people, screaming, shouting, wanting to be heard, the need for a loving caring companion is felt the most.

The autobiographical element can’t be missed in the story “The Untimely Death”. The story is set in Kanpur and the protagonist is Shipli. The blurb of the book tells us that Shilpi “hails from the beautiful city of Kanpur and has spent the majority of her adult life in Delhi. . . She aims to translate her experiences and understanding of human relationships into stories that not only move people but also resonate with them.” The writer expresses disgust with respect to the unfortunate saga of communal riots of 1984 and blood-curdling memory of the assassination of the then prime minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi.

The story “Second Tsunami” shows a disturbed atmosphere of a calamity and how it can have an indelible effect on the psyche of an individual. Joseph Conrad said, “No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze.” Shipli wants to drive home the point that in the face of hunger, there are no morals, principles, rights and wrongs. It is a very moving and a tragic account of siblings under the ravishes of hunger that forces a sister to become an equal competitor for food and survival with her brother with whom she always had a motherly affection.

The title of the book is apt to the content of the book. Since they are narratives inspired by lives of people around us it is a panoramic view of human emotions and feelings at large. All her stories are really worth its salt. Her skill is writing short stories is indisputable, all the stories eventually will prove itself to be a great asset to a sensitive reader who wishes to unravel the mystery of human existence.

Dr. Sapna Dogra completed her B.A and M.A. in English Literature from University of Delhi. She holds a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her research interests include Folklore Studies, Translation Studies, Indian English Writing, Hindi Literature and Popular Literature.  She can be reached at sapnardm@gmail.com.

A Comparative Study on Performance of Public and Private Insurance Companies in Indian Insurance Industry

Sudipta Kayal

Assistant Professor in Economics, Savitri Girls College, 13, Mukta Ram Babu St. Kol-07. Email : kayalsudipta01@gmail.com

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract:

Insurance is primarily a risk management mechanism. Risk of loss-income property or even human life-is transferred, in part or in full, to the insurer. That apart, insurance business helps in capital accumulation to use in nation building activities. Insurance sector not only plays a leading role within financial system in a country but also has an important socio-economic function. Insurance facilitates economic development. The objective of Nation is to build an efficient and stable insurance sector in India that will support both the needs of the real economy and the socio economic objectives of country. This paper is an attempt to analyse the performance of public and private life insurance companies in India.

Keywords: Life Insurance Companies, Insurance Premium, Insurance Policies, Insurance Offices, Economic Development.

 

Evolutionary Paradigm Shift in the Instructional Strategies of Chemical Concepts

Sibananda Sana1,  Chandan Adhikary2 & K.N. Chattopadhyay3

1Department of Chemistry, Government Training College, Hooghly-712103, West Bengal, India

2Department of Chemistry, Institute of Education (P.G.) For Women, Chandernagore, Hooghly-712138, West Bengal, India

3Department of Education, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag, Burdwan-713104, West Bengal, India. Email: knc_bu@yahoo.co.in

    Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

The ‘triplet’ design of the chemical concepts comprising macro, sub-micro and symbolic dimensions are the backbone of chemistry. The disciplinary evolution of chemistry as an independent discipline from chemical myths and magic to today’s chemistry had brought a radical changes in all aspects pertaining to theories, practices and applications. The newly evolved chemical concepts and technological growth in education greatly influenced the instructional strategies in a paradigm way from ancient traditional ‘chalk and talk’ instructional method to the current multimedia mediated teaching learning processes. In this article we are to analyze how these radical changes in the instructional strategies of the chemical concepts help to comprehend abstract chemical thoughts meaningfully.

Keywords: Chemical concepts, Triplet design, Macro, Sub-micro and Symbolic dimensions, Transformation of instructional strategies.

The Role of Justice in Shaping Climate Change Negotiations

Saurabh Thakur

PhD Scholar, Diplomacy and Disarmament Division, Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Email: thsd89@gmail.com

    Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

The manner in which the states define their responsibilities to act on climate change and interpret the other state’s accountability has been the fundamental conflict within climate change negotiations. The concept of justice is the moral basis of all political action and the principles of equity are the cornerstone, in the quest for justice, which has guided the international and national climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. It derives from a concept of social justice which can be applied to individuals, communities, nations, and even across generations. The pertinent question this paper examines are- Who should be held responsible for climate change? And who should pay the cost for it?  The Climate Justice approach strengthens the institutional demand for equity and democratic decision making, which has eroded over the decades and at the same time it offers a sharp polemical response to the dominant discourses of development.

Keywords: climate change, climate justice, negotiations, equity, North-South divide

Religion and Sanitation in a City in Ghana: A Conundrum?

Samuel Adu-Gyamfi & Emmanuella Elikplim Awuku

Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. Email: mcgyamfi@yahoo.com

    Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

Abstract:

The current state of sanitation in Ghana is not a sudden development. The issue of poor sanitation stems from the poor management of waste in communities principally because of the attitude of the people towards it. The issue of religion comes to light in considering the factors that play a role in dealing with sanitation because of the confidence people have in religion. It is necessary to explore this possibility in dealing with the issue of poor sanitation in the society. This study therefore seeks to uncover the relationship between sanitation and religion in Ghana from the second half of the twentieth century to contemporary times.

Keywords: Religion, Secularism, Sanitation, Ghana, Kumasi

Effectiveness of Elementary Education Curriculum in some CBSE schools of Patna with respect to teacher motivation and student achievement

Namita Kumari1 & Fr. Thomas Perumalil S.J.2

1 Mother’s International Teacher’s Training Academy, Phulwarisharif, Patna. Email: namita.educ@gmail.com

2Principal, Xavier College of Education, Digha, Patna

   Volume 8, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.25274/bcjms.v8n1.v8n1sc02

Abstract

Curriculum is the guidemap based on which any formal education program is conducted. It can be considered as the totality of the knowledge and skills that the students are expected to learn in class as well as outside class as part of formal education.The curriculum implemented in primary classes is prescribed by Examination Boards such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India. The implementation of the curriculum varies between schools because of local factors. For curriculum to be effective several conditions have to be satisfied. So it is meaningful to talk about the effectiveness of curriculum. Teacher motivation is an important parameter related to implementation of the curriculum because it is teachers that ultimately implement the curriculum. It is expected that the teacher’s own sincerity towards work, seriousness and work motivation will have a role to play both in forming an opinion regarding the curriculum, and in shaping its implementation. Student Achievement is a measure of the amount of academic content that the student learns in a determined amount of time. It is one of the parameters by which the quality and performance of a school is judged. In the present paper, academic performance has been used as a measure of student achievement. For this the summative assessment grades of the students have been used. For assessing Teacher Motivation and Effectiveness of curriculum five point Numerical rating scales were constructed, and tested for validity and reliability. For testing validity, a part-whole correlation was carried out and the final rating scale was prepared on its basis. Reliability testing was done using split half method. The annual summative assessment scores were used as a measure of student achievement. Data was collected from three Government schools and four Private schools. The study showed a positive correlation of effectiveness of curriculum with both teacher motivation and student achievement. It was also observed that students whose parents had had higher education scored better in their examination. Poor family economy was detrimental to student performance. Although the difference between teacher motivation in Government and private schools was not significant, the students from private schools performed better in the examinations.

Keywords: Elementary education, Effectiveness of curriculum, Teacher Motivation, Student Achievement.

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